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Old 12-27-2018, 09:55 AM   #1
ZFR
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Join Date: February 14, 2002
Location: Ireland
Age: 34
Posts: 7,343
Winking My NobleNick party!

Even though I liked Baldur's Gate better than Icewind Dale, there is one thing that I liked more about IWD: the forums here. Back in the days when Ironworks was very busy, this subforum was my favourite one; I loved all the discussions here, especially about the rules and game mechanics. Maybe it's due to the fact that you create your own party that discussions about different classes and races, party composition... etc was more lively here.

Anyway, one of the more active and liked members here was NobleNick, who particularly liked bards and dual-classed fighters. I once joked that his ideal party would be "5 human fighters and a bard".
http://www.ironworksforum.com/forum/...ad.php?t=24033

I've actually been toying with creating just such a party for years ever since I wrote that. Now that I'll have some free time with just my laptop, away from my gaming computer, I might try just that, since the original IWD would run fine on my laptop.

Also, I realized that although I played my game on Normal difficulty initially, by the time I was playing TotL, all my games were on highest difficulty (and one on HoF). I've never played a full game of IWD+HoW+TotL on Normal. So this will be a chance to finally do it.

So, out of the many active members on IW's Icewind Dale forums, I picked 4, who together with myself and NobleNick himself will form my party:

_ NobleNick the Bard.
_ Aerich the Fighter -> Cleric; his wisdom helped me a lot.
_ Dundee Slaytern the Fighter -> Druid; another wise member.
_ Marty4 as Fighter -> Thief; he loved minmaxing
_ Azred as Fighter -> Mage; he had a vast knowledge of intricate rules
_ ZFR as Fighter -> Mage

I know these forums seem deserted now, but if you have any input or comments on any of the following, I'd gladly hear them:

PARTY COMPOSITION

I usually play cleric/druid heavy parties, due to their more useful crowd control spells, spell availability without need of writing from scrolls, and healing. Unfortunately, it also meant that my weapon selection was limited, and I often left some good weapons behind, because I had no one to use them. This time, for the sake of change I'm going with two mages. Both specialists so between the two of them they get all spells. One will be casting offensive spells from behind, while another will be more of a battlemage fighting at the front lines.

What do you think of the party composition? The other alternatives I considered were:

Ranger -> Cleric (instead of Fighter -> Cleric). However I think getting few druid spells and a racial enemy instead of better weapon proficiencies is not worth it.

Thief -> Fighter (instead of Fighter -> Thief). I really liked this. I'd be able to better develop his fighting skills. On the other hand endlessly developing a thief is not needed, since all he really needs is Pick Locks and Disarm Traps, the other two skills are not so necessary, and can be covered by bard and potions of invisibility. So getting locks and traps to 80% (there is also Knock spell and simply disarming traps using summons or just soaking the damage), should be enough, allowing me to focus on Fighter class instead.
The major problem with this choice, and the one I mentioned previously too, however would be that my starting party would not be 5 human fighters, but instead 4 fighters and one thief. Also, I would have to consider at what location I would be without my thieving skills. They are really needed in the Severed Hand or Dragon's Eye dungeons.

I think I'll stick with the 5 planned above.

WHEN TO DUAL CLASS

At normal difficulty, I can expect to end up with 2.5M XP per character. Also, I'd like them to play with both class abilities for a good amount of the duration of the game.

The good levels to dual up are 3 (weapon prof.), 6 (prof.), 7 (ApR), 9 (prof.). Higher than that means they won't regain their primary class early enough. Other levels give no real bonuses, other than the better HP. I'll also need to ensure they don't level up together so as not to have a level 1 party mid game.

So I'm thinking:
F->D : 3. Dual early to get those healing spells and druid spells.
F->C : 6 or 7. I'll have healing from Druid so I can afford to dual later. Also, druid's offensive spells are more useful here.
F->T : 3. Need those thief skills in dungeons.
F->M (offensive caster): 6 or 7. Mages don't get good scrolls till later in the game, I can afford to dual later.
F->M (battlemage): 9. Get as many weapon proficiencies as possible for the better tank.

Thoughts on these? Can anyone tell me at which stage of the game I can expect the duals and the regaining of fighter class to happen with these numbers?

*****

Any other thoughts? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Also, if any of the 5 guys read this by any chance, let me know how you want me to customize (portrait, colours, voice-set) your character.

--------------------
What's a party,
without a song?
Bards ROCK!
Party On!!
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:53 AM   #2
Azred
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Default Re: My NobleNick party!

I would just dual everyone at 3rd level so they can regain their original class more quickly. Other than that, enjoy the party!
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:13 AM   #3
ZFR
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Join Date: February 14, 2002
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Posts: 7,343
Default Re: My NobleNick party!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azred View Post
I would just dual everyone at 3rd level so they can regain their original class more quickly. Other than that, enjoy the party!
Azred! Good to see you. Thanks.

All at 3 isn't a bad idea, but this will drop them all to level 1 at the same time while in Vale of Shadows. Also, the extra weapon profs for mages should be useful in the long run. Also: more interesting.

Any request for portrait/colour/voice for your character?
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:38 PM   #4
Aerich
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Join Date: May 27, 2004
Location: Canada
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Default Re: My NobleNick party!

ZFR! Thanks for putting me in your tribute party - I'm touched.

I think you're spot on with the composition. I bit the bullet and bought the IWD:EE version for my phone as well as my computer, so I've picked up this game again after literally years away. I had to relearn some things. I've got a HoF party going - naturally - and also decided to try out a heavy dual-classing version; F->Cl, F->Dr, F->M, although I did use a F/M/T and mc R/C to round it out. The key differences are the addition of kits (trying a skald instead of my usual bard) and dual wielding for all - which makes a GM fighter with a +APR weapon in the off hand even more powerful.

I think you maybe dual the cleric at 7 for the APR, as the druid will handle the healing and summoning. that 1/2 attack with Haste and DUHM means a lot of additional melee damage over the course of the game. It is a shame that we must resort to violence.

If you're interested, I'm on the IWDEE publisher's forums under the same name I use here. I never properly soloed IWD, and I have now soloed a dc Cl29->Mage30 in HoF. The character has maxed out levels and is in TotL...
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:00 PM   #5
ZFR
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Join Date: February 14, 2002
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Age: 34
Posts: 7,343
Default Re: My NobleNick party!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerich View Post

I think you maybe dual the cleric at 7 for the APR, as the druid will handle the healing and summoning. that 1/2 attack with Haste and DUHM means a lot of additional melee damage over the course of the game.
Hey Aerich! Good to talk to you again after all this time.

I haven't started this game yet. My initial plan was to do it around mid-Jan, but something came up and I don't have as much free time as I thought so I had to postpone. Problem is, while I do have free time to play, it's a bit sporadic, and I don't want to start this game only to have to put it on hold after two weeks. I'm hoping by end of Feb I'll have enough free time to dedicate to this.

Yes, seeing how my cleric will be fighting mellee, that extra APR could be useful. I think I'll stick with 7 for him.

Good luck with you HoF game, and good job on the soloing. I might try a solo some time in the future too. I'm still not convinced about the EE games; I'm not the biggest fan of Beamdog and not sure whether I'll like the new additions like kits and so on. Feels like driving a Ford Model T with automatic transmission . But if I have more free time in the future and decide to give IWD another go, I might give in and buy myself a copy. If only for the better compatibility with modern systems.

Finally, any request regarding portrait/colour/voice for your character?
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:30 PM   #6
Aerich
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Default Re: My NobleNick party!

portrait - any cleric-ish is fine. Colour - black and silver preferably. Voice - 'it is a shame that we must resort to violence'
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:01 PM   #7
ZFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerich View Post
portrait - any cleric-ish is fine. Colour - black and silver preferably. Voice - 'it is a shame that we must resort to violence'
Will do. Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:29 PM   #8
ZFR
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Join Date: February 14, 2002
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Age: 34
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Default Re: My NobleNick party!

Started the game. Just at Easthaven at the moment.

Never realized how tough it is to roll fighters that need to be dual-classed. They have no minimum stats to help, but require high stats to level up (especially druids and specialists) and to be useful.

And on top of that need to get % strength for the mellee guys.

Managed to get a good set for all in the end. CON was my dump stat, except for Marty, who was the only ond who could dump all three of INT, WIS and CHA (by "dump" I mean 8-9. Never went down to 3 eve for stats that I could with no meaningful penalties).

Chose Diviner for ZFR and Abjurer for Azred. Both need WIS.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:34 PM   #9
ZFR
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Join Date: February 14, 2002
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Posts: 7,343
Default Re: My NobleNick party!

In Severed Hand now.

Marty and Dundee got dualled in the Vale of Shadows and regained their fighter class not much later, before the others even got to the dualling stage. Azred got dualled at the beginning of Dragon's Eye, and Aerich dualled in level 3 of Dragon's Eye. Azred has since got his fighter class (end of Dragon's Eye). Aerich is still waiting to regain them. ZFR is yet to dual (level 8 now).

Overall I think the choice of when to dual was good. If I were to change one thing, I'd maybe change Azred to dual at level 3. You don't need the extra proficiency since he'll be using ranged weapons only (crossbow), and I think I'd have managed to babysit three level 1 characters at the Vale of Shadows. That said, this isn't bad either; he'll get extra hitpoints if anything. Another alternative might have been to give him 4 proficiency points in axes, and let the returning axe be his ranged weapon, but I didn't think of it at the time. Anyway he ended up 3 prof in crossbow and 3 prof in hammer should he need to use mellee.

Overall the 5 fighter+bard has been good so far. I never felt the loss of other class abilities before dualling. The thief got dualled before I needed his abilities (the few chests in Easthaven can all be opened with 18/00 strength; perhaps even lower), and as soon as he became thief I put his ability points in pick locks/find traps. He was good since; there wasn't a time when a lock or trap was too powerful for him.
Same for healing. You can easily to without (rely on the potion or temple if you have to) till the vale of Shadows, at which point the druid dualled and I got my healing spells.
So this is really a viable party. The only disadvantage I have is the fact that all are humans. So I missed the extra dialogues for dwarves in Easthaven and the dwarf/halfling only helm. I also realized I'm having 6 males, so will miss on the lower prices with Nym. Plus as mentioned, fighters were more difficult to roll.

And I'm really enjoying it. I love this game, and never realized how I missed it. I read through all dialogue paths for nostalgia's sake. Fun.
My first run of IWD+HoW+TotL on Normal (before, by the time I got TotL, I was playing on Hard for the extra XP) and it's really enjoyable. Not too easy, and not too difficult to be frustrating. I'm used to more XP, but then again the enemies are easier on normal.

Will update more from time to time.
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:22 PM   #10
ZFR
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Join Date: February 14, 2002
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Default Re: My NobleNick party!

And in the Frost Giant caverns of Wyrmtooth Glacier, ZFR has regained his fighter levels. All characters are now fully dual-classed with both classes active.

It's funny, but ZFR hasn't cast a single spell while in his mage-only stage. In fact I finished that whole part without resting once. With the WCoS song active, you don't need to rest to heal, and there weren't any tough fights to require other spells. On top of that at this stage, quest XP become disproportionately large.
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